Distance traveled today: 13km
Total TA distance covered: 2942 km
With only 13km to Riverton today, essentially only 3 or 4 hours, I had the whole day ahead and so hung around until the Tavern opened at 9am to grab a cooked breakfast. Just like dinner, breakfast wasn’t a disappointment. The cheapest, largest Big Breakfast I’ve had for a long time. Bacon, eggs, toast, 3 hash browns, tomato, mushrooms and a gigantic sausage, plus coffee of course. Perfect start to any trampers day.
Rune, Bella and Matt had already left town, getting an early start in.
Hooking into breaky, POD and Disco came through to the tavern and caught up with the rest of us. We all left at a similar time and walked towards the beach. I found it to be really, really cold with the morning wind blowing off the ocean. Autumn is most definitely here. I had to rug up wearing multiple top layers, long legs, beanie and gloves to start the day.
The trail followed an old road for several kilometers, that was closed and free of traffic. Being so close to the ocean at some point in the past or multiple times, high tides and weather had undermined the road, washing sections and depositing piles of shells, rocks and drift wood on.
At the end of the road the trail moved onto the beach for 3 km or so. This was hard walking. The beach consisted of small pebbles instead of sands and was really hard to walk on. There was nothing solid underfoot and each step was a challenge. I persisted for a while, moving up and down the beach trying to locate firmer ground but it wasn’t there. I ended up moving inland to walk right on the edge of where grass met the beach like everyone else.
A few small head lands had to be crossed and a farm as well.
It was in the farm paddock that we met the farmer, 3 crazy dogs in tow. He had seen the small band of trampers moving across the paddock and drove down on his quad bike and trailer to greet us. He was great and chatted away for about 10 minutes. And with an empty trailer he offered to take our packs and transport them to the end of the property. Who was going to refuse an opportunity to slack pack? Not me. Nor anyone else. Even if it was only for 3 kilometers I’ll take it.
It felt weird to be walking on the trail without a pack. Unencumbered, liberated and light. We relished the opportunity. Walking, talking and enjoying the views out along the coast.
From the paddock, the trail moved into the one and only climb of the day, a short 100 m ascent to a viewing platform overlooking Riverton. The trail is a popular short walk and perfect to walk on.
From there, only a short walk into town. On our way in we ran into the other guys on their way back from a resupply.
I was looking forward to reaching Riverton. Not only was it a short and easy day; today Jacinta will meet in town. She has been able to secure a long weekend away from work and has flown over to New Zealand to see me to the end.